Skyrim Glitch Fix: Continuous Soul Drain in Soul Cairn

So I came across another glitch while playing Skyrim: Dawnguard last week.  This one is more of a graphical glitch, but it was very annoying & had I not found a way to fix it, I probably would’ve never picked the game up again.  I couldn’t easily find a solution on the internet, so I’m posting the way I found to fix this here to hopefully help out others who come across the same problem.

I suffered this glitch in the Soul Cairn.  You may notice that there are many structures that have a large, floating, purple crystal atop them.  These crystals are giant soul gems, & if you get too close they will slowly drain your health away.  You’ll know when this is happening because there’s a bright column of light going from the crystal to your character.  Normally you can briefly interrupt this by eating a soul husk, which stops the crystal (light & all) for ten seconds.

But at one point, the light continued to stream even after leaving the range of the crystal.

There was no health draining effect.  The light didn’t connect to the crystal, but instead went straight into the sky out of sight.  It was constantly visible behind my character when in third person view, making it impossible to see anything, & even in first person the sound was still there.

I tried to fix it by saving & reloading, but it didn’t work.  I quit the game completely, that didn’t work.  I even left the Soul Cairn, but the light was still there in Skyrim.  Googling the glitch also revealed no solutions on any game forums.  I was just about to load an autosave from before this glitch, which I wasn’t happy about because I’d made a lot of progress since then, when I finally came across a hint to the solution some ten pages into the search results.  The tip worked, so I’m going to share it here to help out anyone else with the same problem.

  1. Go back to a crystal & get close enough for it to drain your life.  This will cause an additional column of light to appear.
  2. Eat a soul husk.  This should stop both the second drain & the glitched lighting effect as well.

It’s a pretty simple fix, but you wouldn’t believe how long I had to search for it.  Hell, even when I Googled it just prior to writing this for an image of the glitch, I couldn’t find anything.

I hope this helps out anyone who comes across this graphical glitch.

- GamerDame

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29 Comments

Filed under Tips

29 responses to “Skyrim Glitch Fix: Continuous Soul Drain in Soul Cairn

  1. Travis

    Oh my god… THANK YOU for this. I’m not getting the light beam but I am getting the VERY ANNOYING SOUND. If this doesn’t work I’m hulking out on my game snapping it in half for being so remarkably crummy and picking up crochet or something not so mind numbingly frustrating.

  2. SJCommander

    Thank you so much for this. It’s been quite annoying.

  3. Anon

    Thank you so much, I tried everything I could. Even ran around naked screaming in whiterun with a beam of light into the sky.

  4. Guinevere

    You really saved me with this one. That happened to me and I figured if I left the soul cairn it would go away but it didn’t. I had no previous saves for this game, so I couldn’t reload to before it happened. This helped me out a whole lot. I don’t really know what I would have done if I couldn’t fix that, but I know it would have been violent.

  5. DovaFawker

    At least there’s a way to get it to go away. If it was permanent, I might just have to get violent >_> I do /not/ want to be a sneaky assassin with a permanent fart rainbow going on. Thanks for posting the solution~

  6. What happens when you get the soul gem to supposedly stop the health drain and then it wont stop draining your health i’ve tried pretty much aeverything and nothing is working

  7. Ulithium_Dragon

    DEAR GOSH THANK YOU! I was about to void around 12 hours of play time… For the longest time i thought the sound was my lightning enchanted sword so I ignored it and continued to play. You’re a lifesaver!!! +9000 Dragon Souls! ^o^

  8. Thank you! I have been searching for a fix to this glitch for some time now. Good show!

  9. DrGlamm

    Friggin awesome stuff. Thanks very much for this solve!

  10. Freyja

    Your finding a fix – and such a simple one at that totally saved my
    game, as like you, I was going to call it quits as the effect pretty
    much made the game unplayable due to geometric annoyance
    factor! Grrr!!

    And! RockOn with your bad-ass gamer Grrl self! You are NOT
    alone – we are out there and we are legion!

    Love your blog and keep up the great stuffs!

    Luv & Hugs!

    /freyja/

  11. Thanks, this was a big help.

  12. OMG I am so grateful for this fix, you are a legend :) :)

  13. Becca

    Thank you SO much for posting this. Had the same glitch and I was about ready to give up.

  14. sab

    *PLEASE READ*

    Thank you for taking the time to post this. This has worked for the graphical glitch, but the annoying sound is still there. Has anyone any ideas? Please and thanks.

    • sab

      *UPDATE*

      After creating a NEW save, quitting and reloading said save, the sound was gone. Hopefully this helps someone.

  15. jimmdy

    I had the same glitch but it quit after changing to vampire form and then reverting back.

  16. hunter

    the game will not even let me in to soul cairn. I got all the things i need to get into it but when Serana put her blood in it didn’t do anything it just has to soul cairn and that is it no portal

  17. Shield772

    Thank you very much

  18. Jessica

    Thank you so much! I was just about to remake my character when I found this on google. You’ve saved me hours of game time with this post thank you!

  19. THANK YOU! I was starting to wonder what to fiddle with in the command console to make it go away, and that way madness lies!

  20. mike winkelsas

    This worked for me thanks I was about to stop playing also if it weren’t for this fix.

  21. shadowmaster701

    thanks so much i was running around in circles trying to figure out how to get rid of it then i came here

  22. Would it be weird if I told you I loved you? Lol! I have been running around with this purple light shooting out of my ass for about a month now and I started to convince myself it wasn’t that annoying…but it was! You are my hero!

  23. Ven

    Thanks a lot :)

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